Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Recognition of Prior Learning, also known as RPL, is the recognition given to the knowledge and skills a student has acquired through work experience, education, training, and life experiences.

The Recognition of Prior Learning process involves matching the student’s knowledge and skills to the learning outcomes of nationally recognised courses to determine if the student should be given credit for specific modules.

BTA acknowledges that relevant knowledge and skills can be acquired through a variety of means, not just through formal education and training.

What are the benefits of RPL?

  • You can gain your qualification in a reduced amount of time; dependent on how much knowledge and skills already held.
  • Any credit given to you through the Recognition of Prior Learning process can be recognised by employers to assist with your career progression; and
  • Complete via RPL units / qualifications required for trade contractor’s licences.


Step 1 – Provide information of your skills and experience

Complete the application forms and provide as much information of your previous experience in the construction industry as you can. This is your first opportunity (and not the last) to provide proof of your variety of experience in the industry. Here you can supply examples of your work history which could include:

General employment documents

  • Brief CV or work history
  • Position descriptions
  • Certificates/results of assessment
  • Details of in-house courses, workshops, seminars, orientation or induction sessions
  • References/letters from previous employers/supervisors

Work place documents

  • Any licence
  • Brief CV or work history
  • Certificates/results of assessment
  • Indentures/trade papers
  • Certificates/results of assessment – interstate/overseas
  • Certificates/results of assessment – universities
  • Tickets held eg forklift, crane, etc.
  • Photographs of work undertaken
  • Diaries/task sheets/job sheets/log books
  • Site training records
  • Site competencies held record
  • Membership of relevant professional associations
  • Hobbies/interests/special skills outside work
  • References/letters from previous employers/supervisors
  • Industry awards
  • Any other documentation that may demonstrate industry experience

Depending on the industry you have worked in, you may or may not have documentary evidence available. This should not deter you from seeking RPL as the Assessor will work with you during the RPL process.

You will also need to supply contact details of one or two work referees who can confirm your skills in the industry.

Step 2 – Conversation with Assessor

An assessor will review the information you have provided (usually with you) and begin to match up your skills to the units/subjects in the qualification. At this point, you will have the opportunity to discuss and identify your previous experience with the assessor who will understand your industry experience and conduct a competency conversation with you. You will be required to answer construction industry related questions to identify your current skills.

Step 3 – Practical demonstration of your skills

The assessor will conduct a practical skills test at your workplace (if appropriate) or at another suitable venue. This, again, is an opportunity to demonstrate your level of competence. This assessment will be focussed on skills that are required in the qualification. Your assessor will identify the skills that he/she will want you to demonstrate.

Further steps

After the assessment, your assessor will give you information about the skills that have been recognised and whether you have gained the full qualification. If you do have skill gaps, these may be addressed through flexible training.


  • Steven Lenzi

    To whom it may concern

    My name is Steven Lenzi i am 23 and have being in the carpentry industry for the past 4-5 years and have only got my certificate 2 in carpentry, woodworking and finishing. I do regret that i didn’t start a apprenticeship earlier and it very frustrating that i didn’t. I feel like i’ve wasted all this time but now that i have seen that maybe this RPL process could help i am interested In getting my Cert 3 hopefully fast track. I think im at a 3rd – 4th year standard. I would like to find out more information about this program and the best way to go about it.

    You can contact me at


  • Hi there

    I am from Cape Town South Africa and have got 10 experience in the roofing & waterproofing industry. I would like to get my Australian accreditation through the RPL program.

    How can I obtain this, over what period of time and what would the costs involved be?

    Your response will be greatly appreciated.

    Kind regards!

    Pieter Blaauw
    +27 822282975

  • alan

    I am a trade qualified Pattern maker, have built my own home, have done renos and bathrooms for people and have worked alongside a carpenter for a year now. What do think are the chances?

  • Michael stott

    Looking to get my cert in roof plumbing 12 years experience plenty of photos and references over the years. Please contact me back Monday. Thanks

  • Martin Downie

    Hi there, I live in Sydney and was wondering if the RPL service that you provide can be done from sydney?
    I would like to obtain my carpentry cert 3 with a nationally recognised certificate.
    I have had 3+ years in the industry and am essentially the unofficial apprentice of the business.
    I am participating in a 9 day accelerated carpentry course run by the master builders association that will provide me with 17 of the 22 core units required for the certificate.
    Do you only charge for specific units that need to be assessed?
    At this rate it looks as if I will need 5 core units and 7 elective units.

    I look forward to hearing your response, Thank you – Martin Downie

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